Building on New Foundations > New Strategies, New Organizations

Los Angeles

Nagwa Ibrahim

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Former Outreach Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council

Project Islam is an interactive training workshop. It works with the community on how to address hate. We look at ethnic divisions, ideological divisions, the issue of extremism .

People see the need to start coming together – before, we thought of a Pakistani mosque, an Egyptian mosque – now people are coming together.

There are chapters of MSA [Muslim Student Association] all over college campuses – a lot of young Muslims are frustrated that they are not politically engaged. In Dearborn [Michigan]  the “Young Muslim Association” provides training  in how to deal with the media and how to use political system.

We have not been a politically engaged community. Many MPAC chapters have formed because people came to us and said, our mosque is not doing enough politically.

There are chapters of MPAC throughout southern California, as well as the rest of the state. We also have chapters in Las Vegas, Arizona, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Iowa City, Wichita, Dearborn, and New York. DC has a new local chapter in addition to policy office.

Our members are people based in mosque communities, who wanted a more political vehicle. They are predominantly Arab, with growing numbers of South Asians. There are not too many African Americans – just a few, with white & Latino Americans. In Fresno [CA] our members are mainly converts, especially from Guatemala.